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  1209: Newman House, Central Catholic Chaplaincy, Bloomsbury, London, England

Read this report | Other comments

1 April 2006

Dear Mystery Worshipper

Thank you for coming to our house and our Sunday mass. We are sorry that your experience was not as enjoyable as that of the numerous students that regularly come to mass.

We feel that you have missed the point about coming to Sunday mass, we are not there to be entertained, we are there because Jesus Christ is present in body and blood. Mass "is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1362).

We feel that basing your evaluation of Newman House chaplaincy on welcome, preaching and idiosyncrasies of the preacher misses the point of being at church on a Sunday morning. People go to church to commune with the almighty, with their fellow believers. While we admit to shortcomings in our explanation, Newman House acts as focus for the Catholic student community in London. It provides much need support and encouragement for students who study in a secular and soul-destroying environment. Such a focus requires exuberance and character in the chaplains, which might border on the odd, but it engenders a loyalty in the student body.

We think that non-constructive, almost superficial, analysis of Sunday services is not useful and derogatory to the congregations involved. Criticising minutiae such as how comfy the seats were and the presence or lack of kneelers, does not really fulfil Jesus' instruction to love one another. In addition, it does not help the fulfilment of the command of Jesus to go tell the whole world the good news, if a Christian website publishes personal opinions / criticisms of other Christian churches for whom the style of worship is not ideal to the reviewer.

Also one Sunday morning mass is not necessarily a representative sample of what occurs week in week out in the chaplaincy Sunday morning masses.

From fellow followers of Christ
God Bless

Al and Co.
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